Thursday, August 07, 2008
And they bring to him one deaf and dumb: and they besought him that he would lay his hand upon him. And taking him from the multitude apart, he put his fingers into his ears: and spitting, he touched his tongue. And looking up to heaven, he groaned and said to him: "Ephpheta," which is, "Be thou opened." And immediately his ears were opened and the string of his tongue was loosed and he spoke right. (Mark 7:32-35)
THE MEANING OF CEREMONIES: In healing the deaf-mute our Lord made use of several signs and ceremonies wherewith to enable the man to understand what was the matter with him, and to whom it was he owed his cure, inducing him thereby to have faith in Him. 1. The gazing up to heaven was meant to show him that God alone could help him. 2. The sigh breathed by Jesus was to make him realize what a miserable condition he was in, and to induce him to sigh to heaven for relief. 3. The touching and anointing of his ears and tongue was intended to show him plainly that he owed his cure to Jesus. In her services and in administering the holy sacraments the Church follows the example of her Divine Lord, and makes use of outward and visible signs, whereby to raise our hearts and minds to the supernatural, and make plain to us the invisible effects of the holy sacraments.
[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)